Sao Paulo Underground: Beija Flors Velho E Sujo (2013)
Once again this trio sounds like a larger unit and its capricious implementations remain a constant. The band's makeup contains an assortment of keys, percussion, electronics effects and other tools of the trade. Yet Chicago progressive jazz trumpeter Rob Mazurek is the primary soloist, sporting a big brassy tone and imposing presence. The musicians unify the outside spectrum of jazz with conventional flavors. And they incorporate a comprehensive bag of tricks into these dynamically moving parts. Their boundless imaginative powers and wily song forms has always been a source of interest. The trio busts genres wide open, contrasted by tuneful themes and layered electronics, including moments that summon classic space-rock, house music beats, progressive jazz stylizations and venomous improvisational segments.
The trio's pop sensibilities come to light on "The Love I Feel for You is More Real Than Ever." Here, Mazurek's lines take on singing attributes as he blasts a harmonious theme atop monster bass lines and a thrusting pulse. And Guilherme Grandao's multilayered keys and treatments intertwine with offbeat breakouts and warbling, psychedelics. Indeed, the musicians create a soundstage that offers a lot of depth. As for comparisons, perhaps early Pink Floyd with a touch of The Beatles, aggregated into a roughly hewn Chicago avant-jazz mindset.
On paper it would seem like an unlikely concoction, but is a testament to the artists' plight to offer its audience a uniquely entertaining dichotomy.
Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet, evolver, ring modulator, analog delay, harmonium; Guilherme Granado: keyboards, synths, sampler, voice; Mauricio Takara: percussion, cavaquinho, electronics.
Record Label: Cuneiform Records